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April 17, 2021

Sail 4 Justice heading for Manus via Bruns

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A freedom flotilla ‘Sail 4 Justice’, is sailing up the east coast of Australia and will leave Gimuy/Cairns in June heading for Manus Island.

Last Saturday on their way north, a Disco Boat travelled down the Brunswick River sharing the message of solidarity with the detainees on Manus, Nauru and in offshore detention, Indigenous sovereignty and climate justice as part of Sail 4 Justice.

Sail 4 Justice Organiser Izzy Brown says the group are not undertaking the journey lightly. ‘We have tried everything else imaginable to free these innocent people, and we have no other choice,’ she said. ‘Successive governments have played a game of fear that has already cost countless lives and caused untold trauma.’

The Brunswick Heads event included a boat covered in mirrors, reflecting inhumane policies back on the government. Aboriginal passports were distributed as part of the message of Aboriginal sovereignty.

Manus Island supporters on the Brunswick River last Saturday. Photo supplied.

Arrabunna Elder and Keeper of Lake Eyre, Uncle Kevin Buzzacott said sovereignty of this land has never been ceded, and the Australian Government has no authority to decide which people come here. ‘As an Arrubunna Elder, I welcome the refugees and asylum seekers who are imprisoned by the Australian Government to come and live here in safety and freedom,’ he said.

Sailors and civilians from the length of the continent are joining the flotilla, and numbers will continue to grow as the convoy of cars and boats moves up the coastline.

‘We know that continued inaction in the face of the climate emergency will lead to hundreds of thousands of climate-displaced peoples,’ said Ms Brown. ’As a major contributor to the world’s carbon emissions, it will be Australia’s responsibility to deal with the consequences. If we cannot provide a safe harbour for those already fleeing our wars, how will we treat the next generation of stateless people?’

The flotilla members says they also condemn the continued genocide of First Nations peoples, dangerous inaction in the face of a climate emergency, and Australian support for the Indonesian occupation of West Papua.

Sail 4 Justice in Brunswick Heads. Photo supplied.

As part of the Narrm/Birrarunga (Melbourne) launch, Uncle Kevin presented an engraved kangaroo skin, depicting people of all colours gathered around the sacred fire. This gift will be presented to the local chiefs and men on Manus along with ashes from the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra, and water from Uncle Kevin’s traditional country surrounding Lake Eyre. Sail 4 Justice will also travel on Original Nations passports, and carry a number of these to present to the men along with the other gifts.

‘The Australian Government has waged war on my mob since colonisation,’ said Kevin Buzzacot. ‘Successive governments have poisoned the land and the rivers, putting wealth and power over freedom and humanity.

‘Their greed and corruption has caused countless deaths and endless trauma, and we say enough is enough!’

Sail 4 Justice plans to launch from Gimuy (Cairns) on World Refugee Day June 20, to complete the journey to Manus Island.

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  1. Travel safely, ‘Sail 4 Justice ‘ crew! Many of us feel overwhelmed by this disgraceful injustice perpetrated by our own ( elected ) Government. My calls and emails to local MP’s have not even elicited a reply. So you are a visible voice of protest, and I’m sure your action will bring some comfort to the detainees , many of whom have probably given up hope.
    Thank you for your positive action.

    • Dian, yes, they have given up hope. There have been 20 suicide attempts since the election. The men are very sick and not getting any medical help. They’ve hung on so long and helped each other survive but now there is nothing left.

    • Please spend five years on Manus Island under the same circumstances as the refugees interned there. Then come back to Australia and see whether you feel the same way.

      • The people on Manus are not INTERNED they ate there voluntarily.
        No one forced them to come to Australia or stay. They can go anytime.
        There are TENS of Thousands of Aussie kids needing foster parents. Many are INTERNED in children’s homes that employed lots of people who are now in jail for abusing kids.
        The protesters can do lots of good helping people in Australia.

  2. There is an Australian in prison in England in greater need.
    All he did was pass on pictures of soldiers killing kids.
    He didn’t illegally enter a country

  3. My Mother’s bones were showing on her death. Sure nothing ceded, because the indigenous world was a stone culture, what did you have to cede? As for refugees, they have papers when they fly into Indonesia and then when they pay the smugglers their papers mysteriously disappear. As for the ongoing Green argument, the world and the forests are not dying, someone is lying. For political gain.

  4. Greetings from Adelaide, Izzi,Uncle Kevin and all who sail in ‘Sail 4 Justice’.!

    Australia has lost its moral compass. You are our conscience!

    May your mission be accomplished.

    With you all the way.

    Travel safe.

    Viva: ‘Sail 4 Justice!

    Rosemary (McKay)

  5. Forests do indeed die – deliberately listed by governments
    to be set alight. Stone culture? Many arguments against
    that now & just like Native American Indian culture ‘stones’
    were made from the ‘land mother’s’ bones. Recall “We Call
    For A Treaty” commission in the 1970s fighting for Native
    Title? [I do. Friends of mine were on that commission. Yes,
    I’m that old.] Inaction on Climate Emergency’s a crime – just
    believe that. Genocide here in OZ was horrific. My research
    was handed on to James Cook University back in 1975 &
    it held hundreds of newspaper cuttings & photographs of
    this country’s people being whipped & by far worse. Right
    now… sail safe! Justice is needed.


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